|DISH Network and Disney Sign Major Deal|
|Home Theater News Industry-Trade News|
|Written by Walter Mitty|
|Thursday, 06 March 2014|
After engaging in a legal battle over DISH Network's AutoHop feature, which allows customers to skip through commercials, DISH and Disney have agreed to an expansive new deal. As part of their partnership, both companies have dropped their lawsuits and DISH will now gain expanded coverage of Disney content, including online streaming distribution rights.
"The creation of this agreement has really been about predicting the future of television with a visionary and forward-leaning partner," said Joseph P. Clayton, DISH Chief Executive Officer and President. "Not only will the exceptional Disney, ABC, ESPN entertainment portfolio continue to delight our customers today, but we have a model from which to deliver exciting new services tomorrow."
DISH will now have the rights to stream live and on-demand content from Disney owned stations like ABC, ABC Family, Disney Channel, ESPN and ESPN2 on existing internet apps like WATCH ABC or on a possible internet TV platform from DISH. This could mean that DISH customers might be able to watch live Disney channels through the internet without the need for an actual satellite dish. In exchange for the expanded content package from Disney and the termination of their legal disputes, DISH will now have to disable its AutoHop feature for ABC programming until three days after the content has aired.
Anne Sweeney, Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks, and President, Disney/ABC Television Group, said, "We knew early on we had a responsibility with this deal to not only do what was best for our business, but to also position our industry for future growth. After months of hard work and out-of-the box thinking on both sides, led by Bob Iger and Charlie Ergen, this agreement, one of the most complex and comprehensive we’ve ever undertaken, achieves just that. Not only were innovative business solutions reached on complicated current issues, we also planned for the evolution of our industry."
As part of its expanded Disney package, DISH will now carry Disney Junior, Fusion, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater, Longhorn Network and the upcoming SEC ESPN Network. In addition, the service will offer HD broadcasts for ESPNEWS, ESPNU, Disney Channel and ABC Family.